Experts are pushing to make Apolima island a stimulating tourist attraction site in the future.

Lenara Tuipoloa-Utuva says the changes in the tourism sector for Samoa, calls for a wider reach in the works that affect the industry.

Tuipoloa-Utuva is a Tourism lecturer at the National University of Samoa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Tourism and Sociology from the University of the South Pacific. She recently completed a Master in Tourism with distinction from the University of Otago.

Tourism is a combination of many things and it has changed from nice beaches and sunshine, to being more interested in culture.

Apolima Island is a small village settlement on a tiny volcanic island between Upolu and Savaii.

“It can be another place to attract tourists, the plains and its geography is ideal for a tourism hotspot,” Tuipoloa-Utuva said.

She said, “an interesting development of tourism at Apolima Island may take place if the tourism sector can recognize its natural environment and their cultural setting.”

“The reason why I chose Apolima is because it is different from the other islands following my observations,” said Tuipoloa-Utuva.

“I have visited there multiple times and I just felt like we need to put some spotlight on Apolima,” she added.

Apolima Island according to Tuipoloa-Utuva, is the least populated island in Samoa with only 90-100 residents.

 “Not a single attraction site has been set up in Apolima and not a single tourist has experienced what it’s like to live in the secluded island,” added Tuipoloa-Utuva.

*Savili Malaki is a first year Media and Journalism Student studying at the National University of Samoa.